Former Scotland rugby captain John Barclay announces retirement age 33

Barclay has announced his retirement from rugby (Maxppp/PA Images)
8:56am, Mon 17 Aug 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Former Scotland rugby captain John Barclay has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 33.

Barclay, who made 76 appearances for Scotland and competed at three World Cups in 2007, 2011 and 2019, stepped away from international rugby in December but will now hang his club rugby boots up too.

Barclay spent eight years at Scottish club Glasgow Warriors before moving to Welsh side Scarlets in 2013.

He then moved back to Scotland in 2018, signing for Edinburgh. His time at the club has been blighted with injury, however Barclay insists he has not been forced to retire.

"I never wanted to get to the point where I was playing for the sake of it," he wrote on Instagram.

“Physically I could have kept going for a little while, but at nowhere near the level I wanted. The body has had enough, and the mind is ready to move on to the next step.”

He added his career has been a ‘fairytale’.

"To get capped was beyond my wildest dreams as a kid growing up. To be able to go on and captain Scotland and Scarlets is something I will be eternally proud and grateful of. 

“Knowing I wont get the chance to run out with the team does leave a tinge of sadness, but I was a supporter before I was a player, and I will be a fervent supporter again.”

He then thanked his biggest fans - his family.

"And finally the biggest thanks has to go to my family. My Mum, Dad & brother David for supporting me always, and especially my wife Hayley and sons, Finlay, Logan & Max.

“Without your support none of this would have been possible. You were the reason I played.”

Sign up to our newsletter